I’ve been testing a bunch of different IPTV services, and some of them leave me unconvinced that they’re an improvement on traditional broadcast. In some cases, I’m not even sure that they are as good. But there’s a new effort underway to make IPTV work: The Venice Project. According to its Web site, this is a new venture that aims to deliver video entertainment content over the Web. They launched a beta last week, which uses peer-to-peer file streaming so that content owners can make their programming available to viewers. The process is protected against unauthorized copying, and the developers are working within the Digital Millenium Copyright Act.
Why give this project any more attention than the dozens of people out there who are working on IPTV systems? One reason is that the folks behind this are the same people who brought you Skype. So these clearly are people who understand what it takes to be bring a new vision to the Web and society on a broad scale. Past success is no guarantee of future success, but they certainly have the street cred to make this work. If you want to see what they’ve come up with, they’re still accepting applications for beta testers, though they don’t promise that everyone who applies will be selected.